The story of the 11 year old who got upset when he saw that the pizza server had written “ginger kid” on his receipt was put into perspective by Barbara Ellen in The Observer yesterday.
She points out that it wasn’t done maliciously but just to identify the child (who had a Polish or Ukrainian surname which was probably hard for the staff in Domino’s to write down or pronounce). They apologised and offered him a free pizza but his parents want a full apology from Head Office. Not sure what a full apology is compared to what they have already received. Free pizzza for ALL the family?
Ellen suggests that by pursuing this to a higher level the parents are reinforcing the child’s sense of being a victim. Kids get picked on at school for all kinds of reasons and having ginger hair is just one of them.
If you decsribe someone as a red head or titian haired it certainly has a different connotation from ginger which seems to have a negative aspect.
And I can identify with the server writing a description on the receipt so he or she could remember which customer it was. Years ago, in admittedly less politically correct times, when I used to recruit it was quite common to write short descriptive comments against candidates names so you would remember them more easily later.
Then there was a tribunal case where a woman claimed discrimination and when she saw the papers relating to the interviews saw that someone had written “big tits” against her name. Was it sexist or purely descriptive?
Picture: Wikimedia Commons